NEW YORK — Fans flocked to social media Tuesday to mourn the death of Florida rapper XXXTentacion.
The 20-year-old whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, was shot and killed as he left a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Monday afternoon.
While no arrests have been made, authorities believe the shooting was the result of a robbery.
In an eerie video posted on Instagram before his death, the hip hop star candidly spoke about dying young.
“If I’m going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least five million kids happy,” he said.
Lauded for his unique flow and rise through the streaming platform SoundCloud, Onfroy’s talent was overshadowed by his many controversies.
Well before being signed to a major label, the Florida rapper had a lengthy rap sheet which included armed robbery.
Allegations that he brutally beat his pregnant ex-girlfriend to the point she lost her vision proved to be the most troubling, prompting Spotify to briefly remove his music from the platform.
The pressure to memorialize the rapper while dealing with his problematic past was fodder for local hip hop radio stations Tuesday morning.
“He was a complex individual who was incredibly talented, however there is a real past to him,” Peter Rosenberg, a radio personality on New York’s local Hot 97.1 told a caller who became irate after Rosenberg highlighted the rapper’s checkered past.
“I think this is a longstanding problem in the music industry,” Courtney Smith, an editor Refinery, told PIX11. She said memorializing the XXXTentacion needs to be done in a fair and neutral way.
“His music was very helpful to young men who suffered from depression, so its fair to mention that,” she explained. “But I think it’s also fair for the women who are survivors of abuse who find this triggering or traumatic, to practice whatever self-care they need to at this time.”
Ariel The Unknown is an aspiring rapper himself who looked up to X. According to him, the critics need to be a little more compassionate.
“He was trying to be a positive person – he was going through depression his entire life,” he said. “He was happy making his music so people should just honor him for the person he [evolved into] instead of what he did.”
Authorities in Broward county are now offering a reward of up to $3,000 for any information that will lead to an arrest in the murder of the rapper.